5 Cool Biotechs in Eastern Europe

top 5 eastern europe biotech selvita sotio solvo axon asper

Eastern Europe is home to fascinating culture and rising economies, but how is the Biotech scene developing there? Here are some of the companies that caught our eye.

Due to popular demand, we have updated the Labiotech Map to also include Eastern European Biotechs – which we published just last month.

We were not sure what we were going to find, but we went on a virtual quest to find the most interesting Biotechs in this part of Europe. Now you can re-take part of this journey with us, through the highlights of what and who we found.

So here are 5 of the coolest Biotechs in Eastern Europe…



Selvita in Krakow (Poland) operates in drug discovery for oncology. Founded in 2007, it has almost 300 scientific staff, as well as offices in the US and UK (besides Poland, of course).

It is also a public company, listed on the Main Market of Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE:SLV) and with a market cap of around €66M (285M zł).

Selvita has several candidates in discovery phase and pre-clinical development (some in partnership with other Pharma, such as Merck KGaA), for indications that include hematological malignancies (leukemia and lymphoma) and colorectal cancer.


Sotio is developing cellular immunotherapies in Prague (Czech Republic). This Biotech has manufacturing facilities in Prague and in Beijing (China) and is part of the PPF group, a Czech investment fund which has now a global presence and around €22Bn in assets.

Sotio’s therapies are based on activated dendritic cells (Active Cellular Immunotherapy). It currently has several ongoing clinical trials, including a phase III for prostate cancer, phase II for ovarian cancer and a phase I/II for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Axon Neuroscience is developing immunotherapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Based in Bratislava (Slovakia), it is privately held Biotech with 300 employees, founded in 1999.

This Biotech has completed a phase I trial with its clinical candidate, AADvac1, which modifies the neurofibrillary tangles with tau proteins. It also has several discovery programs, including for Alzheimer’s diagnosis and immunotherapies for frontotemporal lobar degeneration, a leading cause of dementia.

Budapest (CC 2.0: Moyan Brenn)

Solvo in Budapest (Hungary) develops membrane transporter technologies. It is a private company, founded in 1999 and has 80 employees – and was even nominated as one of our Biotechs of the Week earlier this month.

This Biotech sells over 100 types of products, especially to Pharma and drug discovery companies, and its transporter assays can characterise the behaviour drugs can have inside the body – a key determination for pre-clinical candidates.

Town Hall square, Tartu Estonia (CC 2.0 Guillaume Speurt)

Asper Biotech is located in Tartu (Estonia) and deals with genetic testing. It started out in 1999 as a spin-off of the Estonian Biocentre. Now it has around 50 employees, is a certified medical laboratory, and is one of the leading Biotech exporters in Estonia. It is also a partner in Horizon 2020 projects, the EU’s grant program.

The Biotech sells a number of testing portfolios, in areas such as oncogenetics and neurogenetics to diagnose diseases linked to specific genetic profiles. Its main asset is the Arrayed Primer Extension (APEX) technology, which can detects hundred of different DNA mutations in different genes.

So although the Biotech scene in Eastern Europe may not be as vibrant as that of the Golden Triangle in the UK or Paris’ Biocluster, there are some solid Pharma and Biotechs located in this part of Europe – especially medical companies and service providers. 

Featured image credit: Winter’s sunrise (CC 2.0 Holly Victoria Norval)

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